Have you ever noticed that whenever you meet new people, one of the very first questions asked is “so what do you do”? And depending on your job that question may bring mixed emotions; possibly a heavy weight of disappointment or an exciting feeling of pride. Work has become so emphasized in our society that it’s hard to not equate your value with what you do. I do believe we’re designed to work (whatever that might look like for you) but what we do should not be our entire identity. For me, my identity is founded on my faith in God. And from that stems everything else - who I am in my different relationships, what I do for work, etc. So to answer that small-talk question, I am a graphic designer specializing in wedding stationery and business branding but first and foremost, I’m a child of God. And God has created me to be a daughter, sister, wife, auntie, friend; a coffee-shop-loving, the Office-quoting, Seattle gal. In today’s age of social media, it can be harder than ever to stay true to who you are and not get caught up in the comparison game and the fear that what we do isn’t good enough.
It was a typical fall Sunday evening in our home. My husband was watching a football game and I was just playing around on my phone when I accidentally permanently DELETED my business Instagram page. You read that right. My business Instagram page was totally gone. I was simply trying to delete a different account (deleting an Instagram account is way harder than you would think) and was horrified to see that account was still there but my business page was gone. I oddly felt like I had gotten laid off and lost everything - thousands of followers, content, and connections with other vendors in my field. About 90% of my business comes from Instagram so had it been my personal account, it honestly wouldn’t have fazed me so much but alas, it was my business page and there was no getting it back (trust me, I googled it for hours). There were of course tears and overwhelming feelings of, “what now?”. It was a rough night and I started questioning everything. Was I even supposed to start my own business? Will I ever be able to rebuild? Those first few years of starting your own business are often already riddled with fears and doubts and this experience only ramped up those feelings of inadequacy.
The next morning I read these words in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me… For when I am weak, then I am strong.” The Lord surprised me because I oddly felt at peace about the situation. Sure, I had lost everything when it came to marketing my business but perspective was key here. It was just Instagram after all. My business was indeed still standing and honestly, I did feel called to this work. I came to realize that my identity was not in my business or in what I did. I was not a failure because of this mistake and so I would continue to do this work for as long as I felt called to it. So that meant starting over. I felt a sense of excitement actually, seeing a blank slate ahead of me to do some rebranding and tweaking for my business and start afresh. Of course I wondered, would people follow along for a second time? I kept my expectations low and realized that it may never look the same again but I was going to stay faithful to this work.
I began what I like to call my "Heritage 2.0" campaign of sorts, asking for the support of my people to follow once again and help spread the word. I messaged past vendor friends (or as I like to call them,“friendors”) and personal friends and the support just blew me away. People shared away and spread the world like wildfire to help me rebuild this aspect of my business. That was so humbling and encouraging to me. God used this experience not only as a reminder of who I am in Him but also of the support system He has brought into my life.
God calls us to be faithful and to do the work set before us for His glory alone. I'll leave you with these great words from author, Douglas McCelvey, “The outcomes of your labors were never in your hands, but in God’s. You have but one task: to be faithful. (Every Day Holy)”
Thanks for reading along! If you want to hear more, I had the fun opportunity to talk more in depth about this crazy experience on a local PNW podcast. So check it out by clicking the banner below to get the full scoop!